Monday, March 31

Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Romanesco

Spaghetti tossed with roasted romanesco and garlicky aglio olio sauce

Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Roasted Romanesco

They've been selling huge heads of romanesco at our farmers market lately. It's a striking bright green alien-looking vegetable that's a cross between cauliflower and broccoli and tastes great roasted, steamed, or sauteed. Here it's tossed with spaghetti, a super strong aglio olio sauce made with a ton of fresh garlic, dried chiles, and anchovies and topped with crispy gremolata breadcrumbs. The anchovies completely melt into the sauce and impart a wonderful salty umami flavor that's not at all fishy or overpowering. It's a simple, homey dish that makes a great weeknight meal and is just as good (if not better) reheated for leftovers the next day.

Note: If you can't find romanesco, this dish would be just as good made with broccoli or cauliflower.

Related Recipes:
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Broccoli Cream Pesto
- Spicy Broccoli & Onion Pizza
- Parmesan Roasted Romanesco

Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Romanesco:
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
  • Meanwhile, remove the core from 1 large head of romanesco and cut into bite-size florets.
  • Toss the romanesco with 1 tbsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, turning with a spatula once, or until the florets are tender and caramelized in some places.
  • While the romanesco is cooking, add a large pinch of salt and 1/2 lb. of spaghetti to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
  • In a large skillet, add 3 tbsp. olive oil, 4-6 thinly sliced cloves of garlic, 2 crumbled chile de arbol,* and 2 anchovy fillets.
  • Place the skillet over medium-low heat and cook until the garlic is fragrant and soft and the anchovies have melted, about 5 minutes. This is the aglio olio sauce.
  • In another small skillet, melt 1 tbsp. butter and add in 1/4 c. breadcrumbs.**
  • Toast the breadcrumbs until golden and crispy, then turn off the heat and stir in the zest of 1/2 lemon and 1 tbsp. minced parsley. Set aside.
  • Add the romanesco to the aglio oil and toss to combine.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 c. pasta cooking water, and add the pasta to the skillet. Add some of the pasta water to moisten.
  • Toss the pasta together with the sauce and romanesco for a minute or two.
  • Divide the pasta onto plates and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.

Serves two-three
*Can substitute for 2 large pinches of red chili flakes.
**To make breadcrumbs, tear a piece of stale baguette into pieces, then pulse in a blender or food processor until ground into crumbs. Or use store bought panko breadcrumbs.